The Prius is too popular! Toyota is selling more cars than it can make, with batteries the main choke point for production.
Panasonic, its current hybrid car battery supplier can’t make batteries fast enough. To get around the bottleneck in production, Toyota is exploring purchasing batteries from Sanyo, according to sources who spoke with Reuters:
Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, will first use Sanyo’s lithium-ion batteries from around 2011, said the source, who confirmed a report in the Nikkei business daily and spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is not yet public.
Toyota will first procure about 10,000 battery units per year from Sanyo, the world’s biggest rechargeable battery maker, the source said. Toyota aims to sell at least 1 million hybrid vehicles a year in the early 2010s.
…Panasonic EV Energy has said it plans to double battery production capacity to around 1 million units a year by the middle of 2010.
To further ease the supply shortage, Toyota has said it is considering a wide range of options, including procurement from a second source and further capacity expansion at the battery venture.
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